The Scrubbed but Slightly-Skunky Steven

This week’s letter is “S”—I’m using both the author’s drawing and her prompt words:  Skunk, School, Scrubbed, Snug, Sense of Wonder.  Click the link to learn more about this weekly prompt, and join in!

But for the name “Sally”, this tale is 100% autobiographical!😉

Sally’s sense of wonder

About school lasted only

Through First Grade

Reading was easy, fun, and

Her teacher clearly considered

Her the star pupil…

By the next September

Mere thought of 12 full years

Of compulsory education

Became a stone tied ’round her neck…

The surprising kindness of pretty 

Miss P frightened her initially

When the young teacher

Took her to the Supplies room

For a chat, but Sally soon felt snug

Seated on Miss P’s lap as she

Asked in a soft voice, “Can you

Tell me, are you sad…or scared?

Don’t you like the other children?”

NO one had ever asked Sally

How she felt about anything

She had no idea what to reply—

She could hardly speak about

The well-scrubbed Steven B

Who was otherwise a skunk

The way he habitually picked her

Up and wouldn’t put her down

Till he finished squeezing her…

Nor could she reveal her home life…

Stressed by the obligation

To say something to Miss P, she

Admitted she couldn’t “do numbers”

Miss P assured her she’d help her

Learn, and briefly hugged her.

Math never did become Sally’s forte…

And though Steven ceased lifting

Her off the ground on a whim, his

Attentions continued through Jr High

Until her family moved out of state ~

She never forgot sweet, insightful Miss P…

And decades later, after her divorce

Sally wondered if she and Steven

Might have married, had she

Not left town… he’d seemed

Sincerely smitten, despite her

Gawky, not-yet-lovely adolescence.

©Leyde Ryan, 2022 ~ All rights reserved.

To Be and Do Peace

(dove from Leyde’s collection

This quotation by Susan David set me to pondering, resulting in the poem which follows ~

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”  Emotional Agility, Susan David, PhD


How I long to slow

The process, hold still in space

Between what triggers

My speed-of-light reactions

Quick words and deeds bursting forth

There’s no calling back

Birds impulsively darting—

White feather may fall

Love, reconciliation…

Sometimes, fresh droplets of blood


I wish to catch pause

Stay there while heart thinks, ponders

Before responding

‘Twould decrease slammed doors; prevent

Embarrassing conjectures

I pray for wisdom

To feel freedom, show kindness

Thus, be and do peace

©Leyde Ryan, 2022 ~ All rights reserved.

“Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving];” James 1:19, Amplified Bible

Amplified Bible Copyright © 2015
by The Lockman Foundation
All rights reserved
Bible Hub